8.27.2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Confessions of a Bookish Sinner

All right, there is nothing on this list that I've had to mention in a confessional. Yet. But I'm a bit shy about it anyway. After all, at confession, I just talk to Jesus; here, I'm admitting my faults to the whole internet.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Do come join the fun...

Don't think too badly of me, but...

1. I almost can't read non-fiction books anymore. Blogs have totally spoiled me for 60,000-word information dumps.

2. I'm just on the tipping point where I'm about to start not finishing novels that don't appeal to me in the first fifty pages.

3. I hate it, hate it, hate it when people make notes or highlight passages in a novel. LET ME EXPERIENCE IT FOR MYSELF.

4. Back when I shared a room with siblings, a book fell off the shelf above my top bunk to land sprawling on the floor, wedged behind my sister's bunk. I loathed that particular book so much that I left it there. In fact, I might have encouraged it off the shelf.

5. I am terrified of writing forcefully negative book reviews, but I sometimes think it would be cathartic.

6. I finish approximately one-third of my book club's book picks.

7. For these seven deadly sins I will get disproportionately furious with entire stories: 1) preachy Christianity; 2) anti-Christianity; 3) preachy politics; 4) ideological sexual amorality; 5) graphic, clinically-described violence à la Jurassic Park or The Hunger Games; 6) unsympathetic characters; 7) miserable endings. I'll avoid them beforehand if I can spot them coming. Sorry. This stuff revolts me like an overdose of greasy fried fish.

8. I like Harry Potter so much that I'm afraid I'm a bit of a jerk to people who insist that his story is dangerous. See? I didn't have to use the word insist. I could have used something more generous, like 'believe'. I like Harry Potter so much that I'm afraid I'm a bit of a jerk to people who believe that his story is dangerous. Mea maxima culpa. Forgive me.

9. When I'm deeply focused on writing or revising my own stories, I prefer not to read. It's sometimes almost impossible to shift out of my own characters' minds and into someone else's.

And possibly the worst:

10. I have a very hard time understanding other people's taste in books. Why do they like this one, which I loved, and that one, which I didn't? Why aren't they turned off by this author's weird use of commas? Why is their perspective on that novel totally opposite from mine? Why doesn't everyone think just exactly as I do? The world would make so much more sense.... :P

All right, don't leave me embarrassing myself by myself. Confess your own bookish sins in the combox, or link your own post on the subject. It always feels rather good to come clean.

9 comments:

  1. I'm there with you for #2. I just don't have the time to waste on a novel that doesn't interest me that far in. Agreed on the highlights. Totally distracting.

    Here are my bookish confessions!

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  2. #7 & #10, and honestly, if we could revise #8 to say "dislike Harry Potter, but people who call it occult embarrass me so I'm demeaning to them, and I worry about them abusing the people who like him because they always get so MAD, so I sometimes lie (Which is a REAL sin) and say I don't mind the books, and then give them the 'what is Occult, really' lecture.." it would apply to me. It's completely embarrassing.

    Also, if left to my own devices, I will bury myself in Rilke and Tolkien for months without trying something new..or Tolstoy. Thank God for husbands who hate repetition!

    I'm always recommending books based solely on what I liked, and not at all what other people might like, pairing the Wrong book with the Wrong person, and then wondering what went wrong..:)

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    1. heh, I was just thinking how if I wanted to I could probably cobble together a fair-to-decent argument for why Harry Potter might be "dangerous," but it would be all about the Sorting Hat and Unforgivable Curses that are suddenly no big deal once the Designated Good Guys use them.

      I think it's probably ok to present a more sympathetic reading than you would normally in the face of the demonic-HP crowd.

      I also suffer from your last tendency in a major way.

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    2. Haha, Masha, my husband's not a re-reader either. Whereas I love nothing better. And you can definitely adjust #8 to suit your circumstances.

      As for your last tendency, I sometimes do that, but more often I recommend something--or recommend someone not read something!--sure I've matched book and person well, and then been proven mind-bogglingly wrong as the person comes back to me with a reaction opposite my expectations. :P

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    3. Not to jinx myself but I think I've got a fairly good grasp on which books to recommend to you, Jenna. :)

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  3. Confessions!

    1. I have really unreasonable pet peeves and will put a book on mental probation for "transgressions" that no one else cares about, like "teenagers constructed out of teenager stereotypes" and "English professor protagonists" and "undermotivated first person narration."

    2. I'M IN UR BOOKS, JENNA, ANNOTATING UR NARRATIVES

    THIS MARGINAL FROWNY FACE WILL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS AND YOU WILL NEVER EVEN KNOW WHY

    :(

    3. Not so much with Harry Potter, on which I'm kind of lukewarm-ranty-loyal except when I'm not, but I can definitely relate on the issue of loving particular books so much that I get WEIRD and DEFENSIVE about other people's dislike of them, especially if I feel that the dislike is for WRONG REASONS THAT ARE JUST OBVIOUSLY WRONG.

    4. Sometimes I enjoy complaining about what I didn't like in a book more than I enjoy talking about what I loved. I especially like to dissect exactly what I think went wrong at excruciating length. I'm pretty much aware that this is fun for no one but me (but it's really, really fun for me).

    5. I've never read Jonathan Franzen. I feel very slightly bad about how bad I don't feel about this. Actually, I haven't read any of the Major Jonathans. For shaaaaaame.

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    Replies
    1. Laura, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

      2. eeeeeeeeeeeeekkkk

      3. YES, I do that, too. Also, I get weird and defensive about my dislike for certain books, when I think everybody else likes them for obviously wrong reasons. :P

      4. I have a hard time taming my Disliked-this section in reviews, especially if one of the abovementioned deadly sins is involved.

      5. I've never read Franzen, either! Or Jonathan Swift; I tried, but the first part of Gulliver's Travels bored me enough to put it down, which doesn't often happen. So you're not alone in that shame. Or in not feeling very ashamed of it.

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  4. Right there with you on #7. But I don't think those are particularly our sins but the sins of authors.

    #2 isn't quite one of my sins yet but I can foresee it becoming one as I get older.

    And I'm also not sure this is a book sin. I don't see how it can be. But I buy books, lots & lots of books. Not as many as my wife but still a lot. Mostly eBooks now. And a lot of them are either fairly cheap or free. But still... :)

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    1. I do think you have a good grasp on books to recommend to me!

      Haha... you know, after I posted this, I was kind of embarrassed by #7 because it sort of sounds like I'm confessing someone else's sins. AWKWARD.

      Yeah, #2--I'm so close, but not there yet. I've been almost putting down a book for over a week now, and it's short. But I keep going.

      And as an aspiring author, I won't call buying lots and lots of books a sin. I think that makes you a saint, actually. ;)

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